Before I begin let me gently guide you to two more
brilliant travel posts which could have been (but weren’t) sponsored by the Norfolk Tourist Board (come on guys get your act together! 😉 ) North Norfolk with Preschoolers Part 1 and Part 2…
After having read Lucy’s post all about her stay at The Pigs in Edgefield and perusing their website I was really keen to visit and see the place for ourselves. Knowing that it would be really child-friendly with an outdoor playzone designed by the creators of BeWilderwood, I persuaded the hubster that if we were to have one meal out all week it should be at this venue. We visited one afternoon hoping that we could get the boys an early tea but unfortunately they don’t start serving food til 6pm so we hung around for a while, checked out the play areas, had some great fun on the zipwire, tree-house-come-giant slide and climbing equipment before heading back to the holiday house with the intention of returning for lunch the following day.
Unfortunately our return trip wasn’t quite so successful. EJ really seemed to have entered the terrible twos – he was being stubborn, screamy and very, very hard work, insisting on ignoring the play areas in favour of wandering up and down the length of the pub picking up knives or breakable objects left on low tables. When the food arrived JJ decided that he didn’t like his burger. Someone spilt some lemonade at some point and we felt that our meals were OK but not £15 each worth of OK…Having said that I would still recommend this place to people with little children as this would have worked out on another day I’m sure, and the menu of Norfolk Iffits (like a local version of Tapas) was something I would have liked to have tried – in fact some Iffits and a dessert would have been preferable I guess but we weren’t prepared to stay and wait and pay for a dessert with EJ in High Maintenance mode – no fun for anybody!
We decided to keep most of the day a bit low key after cramming so much in since our arrival in the county and another NT venue was on the cards – this time Sheringham Park. As the hubster was intending to do the Park Run here on Saturday morning he wanted to check the place out so we decided on a little stroll.
EJ wanted to run everywhere and JJ was happy to have a run initially but then he wanted to be in the buggy. Unfortunately EJ wouldn’t accept this and demanded that JJ get up and continue running with him which went down about as well as a plate of raw fennel (although, bizarrely I do know someone who claims this is one of their four-year-old’s favourite foods…). Then EJ decided if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em and this was the result:
Perhaps we should have bought that double buggy after all…
On our last day the sun finally came out and the winds dropped a bit – hurrah! We had a long think about where to go. Initially I was very keen to try the Dinosaur theme park which looked like really good fun from the leaflet, but the hubster persuaded me that it wasn’t worth going somewhere where you would pay up to £40 to enter (still cheap compared to somewhere like Legoland but with no guarantees on EJ’s interest or behaviour, not an expense we relished) and then get ripped off on food and drinks. I flicked through the basket of tourist leaflets in our holiday house and eventually alighted upon a pamphlet for Wroxham Barns which fulfilled all our criteria – no entry fee, some shops (for me), a café, petting farm and mini funfair.
When we arrived there the hubster and I realised that we’d been before about 7 years previously when we’d visited with his daughter and her cousin who were both three at the time. It really is a lovely little place. After a coffee outside the café we wandered round to look in the lovely gift shop. I was after some fudge or other treats to take back for my work colleagues and there was a sweetie shop with home made fudge so I popped in closely followed by munchkins who can smell out a jelly baby at 100 yards. EJ was immediately drawn to the pick and mix selection which was crazily positioned within toddler-reach and, in the blink of an eye proceeded to help himself much to our mortification. After several attempts to extract him from the jelly tots I gave in and shovelled half a tonne of the boys’ drug of choice (sugar) into a large paper bag and handed over the cash. One has to wonder why someone can’t invent some sweets the effect of which would mirror barbiturates rather than speed… but I digress.
Whilst the hubster took the boys off to the fairground rides I hung around the gift shop and perused some pretty clothes – I saw these gorgeous nautical theme shoes from Joules:
but alas they had none in my size! Then I began to feel guilty about shopping whilst the boys were off doing fun stuff and left without a purchase. They really did have loads of fun on pirate ships, a little transport themed merry-go-round and some quad bikes before we headed off into the town of Wroxham to get some lunch.
I don’t know if you’re familiar with Wroxham but the whole town appears to be owned by a guy called Roy. There’s Roys of Roxham, Roy’s Toys and a couple of other Roy-branded venues as well all of which makes the place feel a bit like you’ve stumbled into some kind of frontier town where a man called Roy might appear at any moment and demand a toll for safe passage. He didn’t.
It is also known as the gateway to the Broads – Norfolk’s famous waterways. Pretty, but unfortunately we didn’t get to take a boat trip on this occasion.
In the afternoon we finally got to take advantage of our holiday home location. We stayed in a lovely little three bedroom Victorian terraced house named Forsythia Cottage, owned and run by Poppyland Cottages – a four star venue with all mod cons and the provision of a cot and a few big tubs of toys for the boys to play with as well. It is located just a stone’s throw from the sea front and there is a lovely playground just across the road. JJ changed into his swimming shorts and EJ just stripped down to nappy and t-shirt and we all piled down to the beach to make some sandcastles and have a paddle. It is a partly sandy, party stony beach which means that the walk down to the water’s edge is a bit like a run over hot coals in bare feet to get to other side! I really did wish that I’d thought to bring some jelly shoes at this point!
I think JJ could have stayed there for hours – he had so much fun jumping the waves and running up and down on the wet sand! I’m just so happy we got the chance to do this after a week of somewhat chilly days.
Chicken pox and tantrums aside, this was all in all a fab week of little adventures – a really nice little staycation!